The massive kicking boot of Reece Hodge came good for the Rebels as they claimed a mighty 19-17 victory over the Brumbies on Saturday.
Hodge contributed 14 points from the kicking tee and even though they were outscored by three tries to one - and conceded three yellow cards in the game - the Rebels somehow still managed to grind out the win.
Sefa Naivalu opened the scoring when he dotted down for the home side, and with Hodge's conversion, handed the Rebels a 7-0 lead. Hodge added two first-half penalties to complete his side's 13 first half points.
Henry Speight and Jarrad Butler dotted down for the visitors, while flyhalf Wharenui Hawera contributed a solitary conversion.
The Brumbies extended their lead to 17-12 after 44 minutes when Speight grabbed his second of the night but that was all the joy they found as Hodge slotted two second-half penalties, including the match-winner in the 78th minute to hand the Rebels their first victory of the campaign.
More to follow...
Man of the match: Henry Speight carried strongly for the Brumbies while Rory Arnold worked his socks off. Despite the game being tight throughout, there was no real standout player. Our award though goes to Rebels fullback Reece Hodge who held his nerve to hand his side the win.
For the Rebels:
Pens: Hodge 4
For the Brumbies:
Tries: Speight 2, Butler
Yellow cards: Colby Fainga'a (Rebels, 17 - tip tackle); Lopeti Timani (Rebels, 17 - punching); Fereti Sa'aga (Rebels, 43 - deliberate knock-on)
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tom English, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Fereti Sa'aga.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Tom Moloney, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Hugh Sinclair, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Ben Volavola.
Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 Tom Banks, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Tom Staniforth, 21 Tom Cusack, 22 De Wet Roos, 23 Jordan Jackson-Hope.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
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